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La Liga de Las Americas

Walk for Diabetes at Toledo Zoo


Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.


The major forms of diabetes are type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes where the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells the cells may be starved for energy and, over time, high blood glucose levels may hurt eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.


“Few people realize that one out of every 10 health care dollars spent in the United States is spent on diabetes and its complications,” said Angela Bingham, Associate Director with the ADA in Michigan and Northwest Ohio.


The per capita annual costs of health care for people with diabetes rose from $10,071 in 1997 to $13,243 in 2002—an increase of more than 30 percent. In contrast, health care costs for people without diabetes amounted to $2,560 in 2002.


In 2002, direct medical expenditures for diabetes related cases totaled $92 billion – up from $44 billion just five years earlier. Diabetes also accounted for nearly 88 million disability days in 2002.


Nearly 11 percent of Ohio residents of Latino origin have diabetes


11 percent—that’s higher than the 9 percent of African-American residents and 6.1 percent of whites in Ohio who have the disease.


The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting that in less than 50 years more than 48 million Americans will have diabetes – more than double the current number.


That has to change, according to David Ameen, president and chief executive officer of St. Charles Mercy Hospital in Oregon, Ohio .


Ameen is serving as Corporate Recruitment Chair for the Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006 America’s Walk for Diabetes at the Toledo Zoo. He hopes that others in the Northwest Ohio business and medical community will join him and the American Diabetes Association in raising funds for research, education and advocacy.


“Once business leaders here recognize just how serious and far-reaching diabetes is and how it impacts their bottom lines,” Ameen said, “and that there is an opportunity for them to do something about diabetes, they will get involved.”


“We’re also seeking Team Captains, walkers and especially volunteers to help us make the Walk truly special,” Ameen added. “All you have to do is call (888) DIABETES or visit www.diabetes.org/walk.”


Also serving this year as Walk Corporate Recruitment Chair is Louis Escobar, interim coordinator of the Multicultural Student Center at the University of Toledo .


America’s Walk for Diabetes at the Toledo Zoo features a 5k and 1-mile Family Fun Walk. Check in is at 8 a.m. at the zoo’s main entrance. The American Diabetes Association still is seeking Team Captains and walkers. To learn more about the American Diabetes Association or register for America’s Walk for Diabetes, please call (888) DIABETES or visit www.diabetes.org/walk.


To register or volunteer for America’s Walk for Diabetes in Toledo, call (888) DIABETES or visit www.diabetes.org/walk.





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